5 Shitty Characters That Almost Ruined Great Franchises

Jar Jar Binks, anyone?
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Jar Jar Binks, anyone?

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Great stories need great characters. Across all types of genre there are absolutely stand-out series that tick every box. But sometimes a franchise becomes too awesome, and threatens to implode the universe, which is when universal-balance-wizards have to step in and create a character that levels things out.

I've scoured their archives and brought you their greatest work in creating characters that almost destroyed great franchises, across the mediums of Cartoons, Films, Games, TV and Comics ('The Quintrangle of Nutrition' as I call them). 
The results suprised me! Actually they didn't.

CARTOONS:
 UNI

5 SHITTY CHARACTERS UNI

Sigh.

Dungeons and Dragons was a cartoon from the 80s. And every single second of every episode was insane. The premise of the story was that a bunch of kids went on a roller coaster and got sucked into a magical universe because NOTHING. There was never any explanation as to why they ended up in a different world. As it was a show about magic it would have been pretty easy to throw in a line about being summoned by a mage, but I guess the writers were too busy failing to open their schizophrenia medicines.

The opening scenes were a heady mix; a five headed dragon, half-demon riding a flying horse and cryptic dwarf. Oh, and a useless little pile of white shit with a horn.

Just as viewers thought they had stumbled across the perfect recipe, the final ingredient was a rat turd. Uni was a baby unicorn that did nothing but cower, repeat her own name and alert monsters to where the heroes were hiding.

She did in one episode possess the power to teleport, but this made her at least a tiny bit useful and angered the balance-wizards. Plus, utilising this power again would have gone against the production staff's strict rules about not having any kind of continuity, therefore her power was dropped.

It's worth noting that Uni beat off stiff competition from Orco and Snarf to excel in her category, because at least they NEVER had the potential to be arousing.

GAMES: 
NAVI

5 SHITTY CHARACTERS NAVI

GOOD. LORD.

Navi is the leading argument for legalising suicide in Singapore and the reason the Taliban hate western civilisation.

 For those of you that never bothered playing the best game ever made, or are a girl, Navi is the name of a ‘helper’ fairy in ZELDA: THE OCARINA OF TIME. You play an elf called Link and Navi is given to him to help him on his quest with useful advice and information. Unfortunately, in fairy culture being given to an elf is our equivalent of being sold into sex trafficking, meaning that Navi decided to substitute ‘help’ for ‘being the most fucking annoying thing in the universe’.

Most characters have a loop of stock phrases that they'll randomly repeat throughout a game. Navi had two and holy crap did she use them.

'Hey!'. 'Listen!'. Over and over and over again. You see, Navi was meant to keep you on track by reminding you of what you were doing next in the game. Unfortunately for everyone who didn't like hating life, the programmers had done their testing on how often people needed reminding on a gibbon with Alzheimer's disease.  What this effectively meant was that for every 10 seconds you played the game, you heard this phrase for eleven seconds worth of time.

To this day if a high pitched voice ever says 'Hey' and 'Listen' within 30 minutes of each other around me I hit the owner until we're both crying.

Navi is the only reason I stopped playing this game for breaks and didn't fail my A-levels.
Actually it was because my dad hid the console, but my point stands.

COMICS:
 ROBIN

5 SHITTY CHARACTERS ROBIN

Let's get one thing straight: there's nothing wrong with being gay. Let's get another one thing straight: there's so much wrong with being a creepy little weirdo in shiny pants and elf shoes.

Robin is the worst thing ever to appear in pictorial form, and I include the Mein Kampf colouring book. Everything is wrong. Batman is one of the best American comic characters ever, but he also requires the most suspension of disbelief. He has no powers! You can just about get through believing his stories are real by imagining what a gruelling life he's had and that he has infinite money to back up his mental illness. Add Robin to the mix and it just pushes the books into ridiculous; there is just NO WORLD where Batman would want to hang out with Robin!

THINK ABOUT IT!

It's like Clint Eastwood calling up Jedward to talk about how much his vagina was aching.

In the 80s DC comics had their first phone-in to let the readers decide the fate of a major character. They weren’t sure if many peope would call – it was the first time something like this had been done with a comic character. Let's just say if it had been a phone-in for something useful like curing stuff, we'd have had to bring spores back from Mars to invent new diseases. People called in their thousands to beg for the teenage orphan to be murdered. And the result? Robin got battered to death with a crowbar two issues later. As you’re probably figuring out, there was no real winner here.

FILM:
 JAR JAR BINKS

5 SHITTY CHARACTERS JAR JAR

Haha! It's playing a funny game! Still, we have a job to do firing squad.

For a generation, Star Wars represented the apex of entertainment. Original characters, an endlessly quotable script and state of the art special effects made this genre-busting box office smash a winner for the entire family. Fans of the trilogy waited almost two decades for the next in the series and flocked to its opening like pigeons on a chip. 

As the film progressed the sense that something was wrong was easily ignored for the first 30 minutes with plenty of lasers and spaceships to take our mind off the dreadful dialogue. But then, around 45 minutes into the film we were introduced to a vaguely racist cartoon rabbit thing called Jar Jar Binks. And suddenly the dreadful dialogue became very noticeable indeed.

This is the point that the Star Wars franchise became damaged beyond repair and started a downward slide into disastrous ridicule. The only slight positive was to focus on the fact that never again would George Lucas be able to take a beloved product and turn into such an abomination.

Oh.

TV:
 Everything to do with HEROES after series 1.

5 SHITTY CHARACTERS HEROES

What did you do?

WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?!!!